WhatsApp Scams Surface As More Users Rely on Messaging and Video Service

Given the current global climate, more people around the world have begun relying on instant messaging services and video call software to communicate with co-workers, friends and family. WhatsApp, being the popular choice for many, has begun to see a rise in malicious scams.

Reported by TechRadar, one scam of note revolves around what is known as ‘WhatsApp Gold’. This particular scam had been making its rounds since early 2016. The WhatsApp Gold scam promises users a more premium experience on the platform and offers extra features with a link to sign up. Of course, WhatsApp Gold does not exist. Instead, the link will include malware. Users are urged to avoid opening potentially harmful links.

In addition, a message currently circulating the messaging app contains a video called “Martinelle”. A video itself won’t be able to install malware on your device. The problem itself is that the messages containing this bogus “Martinelle” video links to an external site that is able to install malicious software on your phone.

WhatsApp is now testing fact-checking tools to help users search online for context on potentially harmful messages. When a message has been forwarded to a user, an icon will appear, allowing the user to search online.

While this will not eradicate online scams, educating users and providing helpful tools will begin to assist in cutting down the effectiveness of such scams.